Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London. Originally published by Harrison, London, 1875.
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MEMORIALS OF THE ASSOCIATED CHARITIES. (fn. 1)
XLII. PETER MASON'S WILL (1412).
Peter Mason, by Will, dated 6th December 1412, gave and devised to the master and wardens of Merchant Tailors Company certain tenements and shops in the Poultry, London, near the great conduit in Cheap, in the parish of Saint Mary Colechurch (now Nos. 1, 4 and 5 Poultry), to hold to them and their successors for ever, upon trust, to pay 7l. 13s. 4d. per annum to certain uses therein mentioned, legally considered superstitious, and the residue to be applied to the relief of the poor brethern of the company.
The said sum of 7l. 13s. 4d. per annum was purchased of the Crown by the company (4th Edward VI.) and the same purchase was afterwards confirmed (4th James I.) The residue of the rent is partly applied in pensions to poor Liverymen of the company, and the remainder is carried to the company's general fund (fn. 2) for the relief of the poor. and applied accordingly.
XLIII. JOHN CREEK'S WILL (1418).
John Creek, by Will, dated 22d November 1418, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company a messuage or tenement in the parish of St. Dunstan's in the East, in Tower-street, London, now No. 8, to apply and bestow certain sums for certain superstitions uses directed to be performed in the church of St. Mary Abchurch; and further, yearly to provide 13 quarters of coals, to be distributed to the poor of St. Mary Abchurch.
XLIV. THOMAS SUTTON'S WILL (1432).
Thomas Sutton, by Will, dated 26th May 1432, granted to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company all his lands and tenements, with a wharf near Thames-street, in the parish of St. James, Garlick Hythe, and certain lands in St. Trinity-the-Less, London, upon the following trusts, viz., after bearing the reparations of the same, to distribute the issues and revenues thereof arising above the reparations, to the relief and sustentation of the poor brothers and sisters of the fraternity in their almshouses near the Hall, to pray devoutly for his soul and other souls, and also out of the said rents, issues, and profits to pay to every poor brother and sister in the said almshouses 2d. a week in increase of their alms.
The rent and dividends arising from this property, subject to a quit-rent of 1l. 6s., is carried to the almshouse account, and applied annually by the company towards the comfort and support of their almswomen in the company's almshouses at Lee in Kent.
That portion of the trust estate which was in the parish of Trinity the Less has been taken for railway and street improvement purposes under powers conferred by the "Metropolitan District Railways Acts, 1864, 1866, and 1868," and the "Metropolis Improvement Act, 1863," and the produce invested in Consols by Orders of the Court of Chancery, dated 30th June 1866, 22nd April 1871, and 22nd July 1871.
XLV. HUGH CANDISH'S WILL (1460).
Hugh Candish, by Will, dated 29th May 1460, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company all that capital messuage, with the appurtenances, situate in the parish of St. John, Walbrook, and all other lands and tenements which he had in that parish, and also all that alley, formerly called Bromeholme Alley, and then Candish Alley, with the messuages and appurtenances in the same alley, in the parish of St. Mary, Fenchurch, to hold the same to the said master and wardens, and their successors, for ever; and the said testator directed that the sum of 11s. 8d. out of the revenues should be yearly, for ever paid as follows:—
To the intent that the said master and wardens, and their successors should pay the poor and needy receiving the alms of the company, in their houses or dwellings, and not at the hall; and as to the residue of the rents, the testator directed that the said master and wardens should have and receive them for ever, to the use of the said brotherhood, subject to certain charges which have long since ceased; and should also keep the anniversary of the said Hugh Candish in St. Martin Outwich, and spend thereat 6s. 8d. on certain uses (considered superstitious) therein mentioned, and bestow yearly, for ever, among the needy poor in the almshouses, 36 quarters of coals, at the times and in manner therein mentioned.
The company, in the fourth year of Edward VI., purchased of the Crown 5s. 1d. per annum, part of the 6s. 8d. bequeathed to superstitious uses, which purchase was afterwards confirmed by 4th of James I.; and they pay 1s. 7d. per annum, residue of the 6s. 8d., to the parish of St. Martin Outwich, which probably purchased the same from the Crown.
XLVI. RALPH HOLLAND'S WILL (fn. 3) (1452).
Ralph Holland, by Will, dated 2d May 1452, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company certain lands, tenements and rents in the parish of St. Alban, in Wood-street; and the three shops, with the three sollars built thereon, and one parcel of garden-ground in St. Clement's-lane; also a certain tenement or inn called Bassett's Inn, in the parish of St. Mary, Aldermanbury, together with certain wood, stones, lead, goods, and appurtenances, and a certain inn or messuage in the parish of St. Andrew Undershaft, near Cornhill, called Purbrigg's Inn, with the appurtenances.
And the said testator, by another Will, dated the 3d May 1452, gave and devised to the said master and wardens, their successors and assigns, two tenements situate in St. Dionis Backchurch, in the ward of Lambourne, and one tenement in the parish of St. Botolph without Aldgate, upon trust, to apply the rents of all the said premises in perpetually relieving the poor and needy persons of the said brotherhood, and for certain other uses of a superstitious character as therein mentioned.
The only part of the property devised to the company by the above will now in their possession consists of part of the George Inn, and some tenements annexed, in Aldermanbury. It is supposed that the other parts of the property must either have been sold by the company, or seized by the Crown, as superstitious uses, and not re-purchased by the Company.
The whole rental of the property now in their possession less a sum of 13s. 4d., charged thereon for superstitious uses is carried to the poor account, and applied in the relief of the poor of the company.
XLVII. SIR JOHN PERCIVAL'S WILL (1507).
Sir John Percival, by Will, dated 21st February 1507, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company 12 messuages or tenements, situate in Lombard-street and in Cornhill, London, (fn. 4) with their appurtenances upon the following trusts;—viz. out of the issues and profits thereof to keep the premises in repair, and bear the several charges following, viz. to pay 13l. 13s. 4d. annually, for certain superstitious uses therein mentioned, and to distribute, at a certain annual obit therein mentioned, alms to the poor householders of the parish of St. Mary Woolnoth, and other parishes in the said ward, coming thereto, penny meal, 4d. meal, and grot meal, and otherwise 10s., and at the same obit to pay to the churchwardens of St. Mary Woolnoth 6s., to be bestowed in repairing the bells and ornaments of the church. To bestow in coals, yearly, 30s. at Allhallows-tide, Christmas, and Shrovetide (10s. at each time); the coals to be distributed by the wardens of the company, with the advice of the churchwardens and beadle of the ward, to poor householders of the parish and ward, which several charges amount to 17l. 16s. 8d. The residue of the profits, above the repairs, to remain to the common box of the fraternity, to the maintenance of their common charges and need.
The company, in 1550, purchased from Edward the VI. the annual sum charged by this and Lady Percival's will next following, for superstitious uses, and forfeited to the Crown, amounting to 19l. 12s. 10d. which purchase was afterwards confirmed by 4th James I.; and in the year 1688 they sold this estate, reserving a rentcharge of 5l. per annum to themselves, out of the house, No. 71 Lombard-street, to pay the subsisting charges.
The above-mentioned sums of 10s. to be distributed to the poor householders of St. Mary Woolnoth; 6s. to the churchwardens of the said parish, for repairing and ornamenting the church, and 30s. to the same parish for coals, amounting to 2l. 6s. are paid, with other small sums under Lady Percival's will, to the same parish.
XLVIII. DAME THOMASIN PERCIVAL'S WILL (1508).
Dame Thomasin Percival, by Will, dated the 12th February 1508, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors' Company six messuages in the parish of St. Martin in the Vintry; and a messuage and garden in the parish of St, Dionis Backchurch, in Fenchurch-street, (fn. 5) London, to the intent, out of the issues of the same, in the first place, to keep the said messuages in repair, and then to apply the said issues and profits in performance of the will of her husband Sir John Per- "January 31st, 1602.
"Trusty & well beloved beinge assuredly perswaded of your readiness, to gratify us in any reasonable matter, that wee might requyre at your hands, We have byn pleased by these our special letters to recommend unto you a very honeste servant of our's, and soe knowne to ourselfs as having even from his youth byn brought up in our service within our Househould Thomas Lovell to this end, that whereas the Company of Marchauntailors did certen yeares past, by theire Deed demyse, to one Katharine Body, then Widowe and Mother-in-Lawe to our said Servant, a Certen House or Tenement in Ffanchurche Street, London, of the yerlye rent of Fyve pounds, the interest in which House is common to our said Servant's lawfull possession, from his said mother-in-lawe, for the reste of the yeares unexpired, yee will at this our special mediacion accept of him a surrender of his presente Estate, and graunt to him & to his Assignes a New Lease for twenty-one yeares, under such Rent & Covenants as are reserved in his former Lease. This we knowe to be so reasonable and small a matter as in regard of that dutie ye owe to us your Gratious Soveraigne, We make ourself fullye assured, and soe doe expect the performance hereof at your hands without any Excuse or other delay, yea though there might be some large fyne offered you, than our Servant's abilitie will suffer him well to give, wherein the more favour you shall shewe hym, the more acceptable ye shalbe to us. We also require you, the Lord Maior, being a Chiefe Person of the foresaid Societie, that at this our earnest instance ye will bestow upon our said Servant the Freedome of that Company, which we assuredlye will take very thankfully at all your hands and accept thereof as a gratuitie done only for our sake and therefore doe looke for noe denyall thereof at your hands. Gyven under our Signet, at our Manor, Richmond, this 29th of January 1602, in the fyve and fortieth yere of our reigne.
"Out of respect to her Majtie's most Gratious and Princely Letters on the behalf of Thos. Lovell, her Majtie's Servant, and being desirous with a loving mind fully to satisfy her Majtie's request, agree to grant a New Lease for twenty-one years upon the former Rent and Covenants, and to receive the voluntary offer of Forty pounds made at the last Assemblie by the said Thos. Lovell altho' one hundred pounds would be given for the same.
"Rowland Okaver, one of the sixteene men of this Company, and John Speede, Merchantailor, who had been former sutors for a Lease of the same Tenement, and deserved well of the Company, were sent for and made acquaynted with her Majtie's Letters, and entreated to rest satisfied, in regard the Company coulde not in dutye denye her Majtie, who had not written to the Companie during the remembrance of any Assistants here p'sente; and yt is hoped that this will not be any president to others to undertake the lyke course." cival (with directions to pay thereout certain other sums to the superstitious uses therein mentioned). The testatrix then directed 4s. yearly to be paid to the churchwardens of the parish of St. Mary Woolnoth, to the intent that they might be the more diligent in distributing the coals according to the will of her husband, and to pay to the same churchwardens, every Sunday in the year, for ever, 5d., to be by them distributed, the same Sunday, every year, to five poor householders of the said parish, and to pay the churchwardens for their pains about distributing the said 5d. weekly, 4s. yearly, for ever.
The residue of the rents and revenues of the said messuages or tenements and garden, over the charges and reparations aforesaid, the testatrix willed for ever should remain to the common box of the said fraternity, for the maintenance and supportation of their common charges.
The sums specifically bequeathed, excepting those bequeathed to superstitious uses, which were purchased, amount to 1l. 9s. 8d., and are yearly, with the sum of 2l. 6s., making together 3l. 15s. 8d., under Sir John Percival's will, paid to the parish of St. Mary Woolnoth, upon the receipt of the churchwardens.
XLIX. JAMES WILFORD'S WILL (1514).
James Wilford, by Will, made in the year 1514, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors' Company an annuity of 9l. 13s. 4d., which had been granted by the said company to the testator, issuing out of the Saracen's Head Inn, Friday-street (now forming part of a warehouse), upon trust to pay 7l. parcel of the said 9l. 13s. 4d. towards the repairing of the common highway, between River Hill, in the county of Kent, and Northyam, in the county of Sussex, being noxious and in decay (the same highway having been before made by the testator), upon notice thereof from the parishioners of Rye in Sussex, and Northyam and Newenden, as often as the same should happen; and also to pay to the poor of Little St. Bartholomew, in the month of December, 40s., viz. 20s. in coals, and 20s. in money; to the parson, for a sermon in the Passion Week, 6s. 8d., and to the master and wardens, 5s. 8d., and clerk and beadle, 1s.
The payment of a guinea to the parson of St. Bartholomew's is made, and the 6s. 8d. to the master and wardens, clerk and beadle, and also some extra gifts to the clerk and sexton of St. Margaret's, Lothbury, where the sermon is now preached.
L. JOHN TRESSAWELL'S WILL (1518).
John Tressawell, by Will, dated 1st March 1518, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors' Company, a quitrent of 6s. 8d. issuing out of the Saracen's Head, in Bread-street, in the parish of Allhallows, in the ward of Bread-street, the property of the said company, and an entry into the same, and also a cottage and garden thereunto belonging, with the appurtenances, in the parish of Allhallows, in the ward of Breadstreet, whereon were then erected seven new tenements, and 26s. 8d. quit-rent, one moiety going out of the tenement called the Three Legs, in Basing-lane, and the other moiety out of the Unicorn upon the Hope, situate in the parish of St. Nicholas Acon, beside Fish-street, to hold to them and their successors, upon trust, to pay and distribute the rents thereof in most pure and perpetual alms for evermore.
The property supposed to be derived under the above gift is a house in which the poet Milton was born, with its appurtenances in Bread-street, No. 61, held by Copestake and Co., under a lease, the rent of which, together with 1l. quit-rent, is carried yearly to the company's general fund for the relief of the poor. One moiety of the quit-rent of 26s. 8d. has been lost by the obliteration of the site of the property charged.
LI. ALDERMAN HEYDON'S WILL (1519).
Mr. Alderman Heydon, by Will, dated 11th March 1519, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors' Company 100l. upon trust, to lend the same to two young men of the same company trading over the seas, by 50l. to each, for four years, they giving security for the repayment thereof, and paying interest at the rate of 3l. 6s. 8d. per cent. per annum, which interest was yearly for ever to be paid to the Mercers Company.
LII. JOHN HOWDEN'S DEED (1520).
By Indenture, an extract of which appears in the company's papers (without date), made between the master and wardens of the one part, and the said John Howden of the other part, the said master and wardens, in consideration of 333l. 6s. 8d. in money, and certain plate, paid by the said John Howden, agreed for themselves and their successors to pay yearly, for certain uses (forfeited as superstitious) 7l. 10s. 11d., and to expend at the same time yearly, for ever, in coals, to be distributed amongst the poor of Abchurch, 10s., and to the poor there 5s. 9d. yearly, for ever. To the master and wardens yearly, for ever, 5s. 8d. To the clerk and beadle yearly, for ever, 1s.
LIII. GERARD BRAYBROOKE'S WILL (1520–2).
Respecting this gift, the company have no record whatever in their books, but they have been informed by the parishofficers of St. Martin Outwich, that Gerard Braybrooke gave by Will an annuity of 2l. which had been purchased by him of the Company of Merchant Tailors, issuing out of all their lands, for the following purpose, viz.—
The company purchased of the Crown, in the fourth year of Edward VI., 3s. 9d., part of the above-mentioned 6s., and they pay 2s. 3d., the remaining part thereof to St. Martin Outwich, yearly; the reason of which payment they are unable to explain from their own books, but refer to the said parish of St. Martin Outwich for information on that subject.
LIV. JOHN WILFORD'S WILL (1550).
The testator by his Will, dated the 4th February 1550, bequeathed an annuity of 21l.; and by codicils thereto reduced it to 14l., to be paid to the master, wardens, and their successors for ever; 13l. thereof to be bestowed in repairs of the highways next adjoining the parish of Mitcham, and 1l. to be distributed as follows:—5s. to the master, 3s. 4d. each to the wardens, and 1s. 8d. to the clerk.
After the testator's death his eldest son, James Wilford, granted an annuity of 4l. 13s. 4d. to one John White, being onethird of the 14l. per annum, and charged it upon freehold property in Little Saint Bartholomew's, and which annuity was assigned to one Richard Botyll, an agent of the company. John Wilford, the second son, secured the remainder of the 14l. per annum by granting an annuity of 9l. 6s. 8d. to Richard Botyll, and charged the same on premises in Mark-lane, Fleet-street, and St. Clement's-lane. Richard Botyll, being then in possession of both annuities, bequeathed them to the Merchant Taylors' Company by Will, dated 20th June 1856.
By deduction of the land-tax, the amounts received under the above gift are reduced to 3l. 14s. 8d., and 7l. 9s. 4d. respectively, making 11l. 4s. in all, which is expended in payments of 10l. 8s. per annum to the parishes of Mitcham, Streatham. Sutton, and Carshalton alternately, upon proper certificates being produced as to the expenditure of that sum in the repairs of the highways contemplated by the testator, and 16s. to the master, wardens, and clerk of the company; these payments being a rateable diminution of the sums originally given by the testator's Will in consequence of the reduced receipts.
LV. MARGARET PARSON'S DEED (1563).
Margaret Parsons, by Deed, dated 10th December, 5th Elizabeth, granted to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors' Company an annuity of 4l., issuing out of a messuage or tenement situate in the parish of St. Christopher, in Cornhill, upon trust, to pay 30s. to poor people inhabitants of the parishes of St. Michael and St. Christopher, in Cornhill, viz., to 40 of St. Michael's, and 20 of St. Christopher's, to every of them 6d. a-piece at Lady-day. To pay 12d. a piece to 13 poor merchant tailors at the same time; 30s. to 4 poor maidens marriages, servants, or children to some of the merchant tailors, to every of them 7s. 6d. the piece, and 5s. to the common clerk of the Company, to put the master and wardens in remembrance of the devise, and the residue to the beadle of the Company.
The premises charged stood on part of the ground now covered by the Bank of England, who purchased the annuity or rentcharge of 4l., and the annuity has ever since been paid out of the corporate funds of the Merchant Tailors Company.
The Company pay annually to the churchwardens of the respective parishes of St. Michael and St. Christopher the sum of 30s. between them, viz., to the former 20s., and to the latter 10s., upon the receipts of the respective churchwardens.
The remaining sums, amounting to 1l. 17s. are paid as follows, viz., to a poor maiden, being a daughter of a freeman of the Company, upon her marriage, annually 30s., to the clerk 5s., and to the beadle 2s.
LVI. SIR THOMAS ROWE'S (fn. 6) WILL (1565) AND DEED (1569).
Sir Thomas Rowe, by Will, dated 11th August 1565, devised to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company all and singular his messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments in the city of London, to hold to them, their heirs and successors, so long as they should observe the directions of his said will, upon trust, to distribute 40l. yearly among 10 poor freemen of the Companies of Clothworkers, Carpenters, Tilers, Plasterers, and Armourers, who, from their age and impotency were unable to exercise their crafts or faculties, viz., to each 4l. yearly, to be paid quarterly, and he directed the residue of the said rents to go to the said master and wardens, to be employed according to their discretion.
By Deed, dated the 4th June 1569, the above-named Sir Thomas Rowe gave the Company 100l. upon trust, to lend the same to poor housekeepers of the Merchant Tailors Company, occupying or shearing with the broad shears, or sewing at the perch, of good name and fame, to every of them 12l. 10s. for two years, upon bond, with sureties by way of free loan.
This 100l. appears by some of the old books of the Company to have been for some time lent out as directed; but as no entry is found concerning it for a great many years past, it has probably been lost by the failure of the borrowers.
LVII. THOMAS THOMLINSON'S WILL (1567).
Thomas Thomlinson, or Towreson, by Will, dated 6th April 1567, gave and devised to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company, after the death of his wife, a certain messuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, situate in the parish of St. Mildred in the ward of Broad-street, London, to hold to them and their successors for ever, upon trust, to keep the same in repair, and at their own charge, at the coldest time of the year to provide two cart-loads of coals, at the price of 16s. per load, and distribute the same amongst the most needy of the parish of St. Mildred. And out of the issues and profits of the same premises yearly, for ever, to pay to the master and governors of Christ's Hospital, towards the maintenance of the children there, 20s. so long as the said hospital should continue.
LVIII. ROBERT DONKIN'S WILL (1570).
Robert Donkin, by Will, dated 1st December 1570, gave and devised to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company certain lands and tenements, with their appurtenances, in Bell Alley, in the parish of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate, to hold to them and their successors, to the intent, as to the rents and profits thereof, to provide and give to 12 poor men inhabiting within the city of London, of honest fame and most in need, 12 gowns of frieze, at 16d. per yard; 12 shirts of the value of 2s. each; 12 pair of shoes of the value of 12d. a pair. To every poor man 1 frieze gown, 1 shirt, and a pair of shoes, every gown to contain 7 yards; and also yearly, for ever, to 12 poor women of honest conversation, fame, and name, and most in need, 12 cassocks of like frieze and price; 12 smocks at 20d. the yard; 12 pair of shoes at 12d. each pair. To every one 1 cassock, 1 smock, and 1 pair of shoes; every cassock to contain 5½ yards, and the gowns and cassocks to be delivered ready made, with the shirts and shoes, on Christmas-day.
And the said testator did thereby entreat the chamberlain and town-clerk at the feast of All Saints to put the master and wardens in mind, and to attend to see the bequest performed, and to have for their pains 10s. each.
He directed the whole of the residue of the said rents to be gathered into the Company's stock to repair the said tenements, and if need be, rebuild the same at their discretions. And he declared, that should the master and wardens for the time being be negligent in their trust, then the said premises were to go to the parson and churchwardens of the parish of St. Michael upon the same trusts.
The several gifts and payments contained in the foregoing will at the prices there stated, would amount to 22l. 10s. per annum; but to carry into full effect the intentions of the testator, the Company expend in the trust upwards of 38l. per annum in the distribution of clothing among the objects of his bounty, besides making donations of 5s. to each of the 24 poor men and women, out of their own funds, for the better provision of shoes.
The greater part of the property derived under this bequest has been taken at various times for railway purposes, and the produce invested in Consols under Orders of the Court of Chancery of 10th July 1863, 19th December 1868, 30th January 1869, and 28th July 1871. By an Order of the Charity Com missioners, sealed 26th March 1872, the residue of the rents and profits of this estate is directed to be applied towards the maintenance of a Convalescent Home at Bognor. (fn. 7)
LIX. SIR WILLIAM FITZWILLIAM'S DEED. (fn. 8)
By an Indenture, an extract of which appears in the books of the Company without date, made between the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company, of the first part; Sir William Fitzwilliam, of the second part; and Thomas Coles, of the third part, the said master and wardens, in consideration of 1,200 marks (800l.) paid to them by the said Sir William Fitzwilliam, granted unto the said Thomas Coles (by the direction of the said Sir William Fitzwilliam), an irredeemable annuity of 20l. and charged the same upon their premises in Lombard-street and Cornhill, to the end that the said Thomas Coles should devise the same by his will in manner thereinmentioned.
Thomas Coles, by his Will, devised the said rentcharge of 20l. to the Monastery of Croyland, in the diocese and county of Lincoln, for the maintenance of a priest, to sing mass in the church of Marham, in the county of Northampton, such priest to be paid 7l. yearly for his salary, and wine and wax, and to expend at an Obit, yearly, 6s. 8d.; and the same testator bequeathed other sums for like superstitious uses, making up in the whole 20l. per annum.
Queen Elizabeth, in the 20th year of her reign, granted the remainder of the said annuity, being 7l. 6s. 8d., as also the moiety of the arrears, to one Walter Fish (a member of the company), to be by him settled to godly uses, who accordingly settled the same in the manner mentioned in the following case.
LX. WALTER FISH'S WILL (1580).
Walter Fish, by his Will, dated 17th September, 22nd Elizabeth, devised to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company a house and tenement in Cannon-street, London, purchased with 103l. 5s. being arrears of the annuity payable out of the company's land in Lombard-street and Cornhill of 7l. 6s. 8d. per annum, part of the annuity of 20l. mentioned in the preceding case, and also the same annuity of 7l. 6s. 8d., to hold to the said company and their successors for ever, upon trust, that the company should employ the rent of the said premises between five poor studious scholars of St. John's College, Oxford, which should be most like to bend their studies to divinity, to be yearly divided between them, towards the amendment of their victuals and batteling, and to bestow the 7l. 6s. 8d. per annum as follows; viz., 6s. 8d. yearly, between the clerk and beadle of the said company for ever, and the annual sum of 7l. to be distributed equally amongst the almsmen of the livery, in augmentation of their pensions.
The present rental of the premises, is yearly paid to five poor scholars in divinity of St. John's College, Oxford; 6s. 8d. is paid to the clerk and beadle of the company yearly, and the sum of 7l. is carried to the company's general fund for the relief of the poor.
LXI. RICHARD HILLES' (fn. 9) WILL (1586).
Richard Hilles, by Will, dated 28th June 1586, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors' Company, all his houses and tenements, with their appurtenances, and all his gardens and the things to them or any of them appertaining, situate in the parish of St. Botolph, in the ward of Portstoken without Aldgate, in London, to hold the same to the said master and wardens, their successors and assigns for ever, subject to the payment of 5l. per annum to certain persons therein named, for life, and after their decease upon trust, to pay 5l. yearly, for ever, amongst six of the most impotent poor aged men, being of good name and fame, of the said fraternity of Merchant Tailors, using or having occupied shearing with the broad shears, or rowing at the perch, by equal portions, quarterly; and if so many could not be found, that the yearly revenues should be paid to the widows of any such poor impotent aged men having used the said occupation, and for want of such poor widows, then to be given to so many of the most impotent poor aged men of good name and fame, of the said fraternity, as before should have occupied making of garments, or any other lawful arts.
LXII. JOHN CONYERS' CHARITY.
According to an entry in one of the Court Books of the Company, dated 3d March 1591, they granted an annuity of 5l. to the churchwardens of St. Botolph, Aldersgate, out of their inn in Aldermanbury, in consideration of 100l. given by John Conyers.
There is an inn in Aldermanbury of the name of the George, in the possession of the company; and as they have no other property of that description in Aldermanbury, it is presumed to be the property charged.
LXIII. THE CHARITIES OF ROBERT HAWES AND OTHERS, (1595).
Robert Hawes, by Will, dated 17th January 1595, reciting that John Robinson, William Offley, Robert Dow, Richard Venables, and William Craven, together with himself, had agreed during their lives to pay to six poor widows then in the company's almshouses, (fn. 10) yearly pensions of 3l. 9s. 4d. each; and being desirous of continuing the same after their deaths, had subscribed the sum of 336l., with which they had purchased a great messuage, and four other houses in the parish of St. Benet Fink, which had been conveyed to him the testator; in performance of the trust in him reposed, gave and devised the same premises to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors' Company, and their successors, to hold to them and their successors, upon trust, to apply, out of the rents thereof, to the support of six poor widows of London, of the age of 55 years, whereof five to be always widows of the society of Merchant Tailors, and the sixth, or other widow, to be chosen out of the parish of St. Botolph, Aldgate, yearly, for ever, the sum of 3l. 9s. 4d. each, by 16d. the week, to be paid weekly, monthly, or quarterly, as the said master and wardens should think fit; and he directed that the residue of the rents (if any) should remain in the common box of the fraternity, to support the common charge as well of repairing the said premises and almshouses, as otherwise, for the good of the company, in their discretion, the said testator not doubting that should the rents increase to a good balance the said master and wardens would regard the said poor widows with a larger pension, or otherwise relieve the necessity of other poor members of the society.
In consequence of the increase in the rents of the property derived under this will, the company have, in compliance with the request of the testator, increased the pensions to the six poor people to 27l. per annum each; and apply a further sum of 238l. per annum towards the support of the poor women in their almshouses generally.
LXIV. NICHOLAS SPENCER'S (fn. 11) WILL (1597).
Nicholas Spencer, by Will, dated 3rd July 1597, devised to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company a certain messuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, and also all that his shop, warehouse, and garret, situate iu Little St. Thomas the Apostle, in London, to hold to them, their heirs, successors, and assigns, for ever, upon the following conditions, viz., that the said master and wardens, and their successors, should upon reasonable request to be made to them in writing, at Merchant Tailors Hall, upon Christmas-day yearly, pay the sum of 52s. unto the parson and churchwardens of Doddington, in the Isle of Ely, to the intent that the said parson and churchwardens, their successors and assigns, should on every Sunday for ever, bestow upon the poor folks of the parish of Doddington 12d. in bread, and should weekly, on every Sunday, give or cause to be given in the parish-church of St. Thomas the Apostle, to 12 poor folks of the said parish (whereof the sexton for the time being should be one) 12d. in bread, to be equally divided between them, and also to five of the poorest of the said poor folks, weekly, 5d. viz. to every one of them 1d. at the time of the delivery of the said bread.
2l. 12s. per annum is paid to the parish of Doddington, and 3l. 13s. 8d. to the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle, upon the receipts of their respective churchwardens. These premises have been taken by the City of London under an Act of Parliament for City Improvements, and the proceeds have been invested in Consols by Order of the Court of Chancery, dated 13th June 1849.
LXV. PETER BLUNDELL'S WILL (1599).
Peter Blundell, by Will, dated 9th June 1599, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company 150l. to purchase lands, houses, or other sure hereditaments or rents, out of which 2l. was directed to be paid yearly, for ever, to the poor prisoners in Newgate, in London, quarterly, and the residue to be by the master and wardens so employed and bestowed, as they should for ever have the benefit thereof for their pains in paying the said 40s. yearly for ever.
By Indenture, dated 20th June, 43d Elizabeth, made between the said master and wardens of the one part, and the executors of the said Peter Blundell (fn. 12) of the other part, after reciting the before-mentioned bequest, and the payment of the money to the company by the executors, and that the said company had therewith purchased a messuage or tenement in the parish of St. Benet Fink, the said master and wardens, for themselves and successors, did covenant with the said executors, to pay the 40s. per annum, as directed by the said will.
The sum of 40s. was, until lately, for many years yearly paid to the poor prisoners in White Cross-street Prison, in the Middlesex division, or Newgate Ward, upon the receipt of the proper authority; but, as imprisonment for debt has been abolished, the future appropriation of this, as part of the prison fund, is under the consideration of the Court of Chancery. (fn. 13)